Friends celebrate Valentine's draft to the Chicago Bulls

Posted at 8:38 AM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 08:40:48-04

After several minutes of patiently waiting. The announcement they were waiting to hear finally happened.

NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, announced for the 14th pick, Denzel Valentine was heading to the Chicago Bulls.

The home state hero isn't going to far.

"We love Denzel and we supported him the whole way and this is just amazing" said family friend Kerryn Cooper.

Valentine's closest friends got together Thursday night anticipating Denzel's next move.

"Just so so grateful that he got to go to the bulls" Susan Dunkelberger said. "We're bulls fans now."

One of Denzel's former childhood teammates Jackson Fox says he knew Denzel was good. But never thought he'd hear his name called for the NBA.

"I knew he was going to be good cause he had that talent level" Fox said. "His mindset was always like two steps ahead in the game but no, I never foresaw this. This is truly incredible"

He says Denzel's talent, work ethic, and dedication took him to Chicago.

"All the awards that he's won this season, it truly attest to how much work he puts in and how much time he works on it" Fox said. "He's really dedicated to the sport."

Associated Press college player of the year. Big 10 male athlete of the year.

All of these awards and yet Lansing Community College's men's basketball coach Mike Ingram says Denzel is just getting started.

"I think he's a lot better athlete than people give him credit for. He's a great shooter," Ingram said. "He's a great rebound and he's been doing these things and playing the same way, ever since he was a young guy."

Now Denzel gets to take his athleticism and professionalism to the Bulls.

"They're gonna get a special player. A player that's gonna show up to play every day. Show up to practice every day. Gonna make his team" said Ingram.